Dubai: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Borussia Dortmund’s Moroccan star Achraf Hakimi have both urged football fans to put their health before everything else.
Making an appearance on the Dubai Sports Council’s ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ campaign, both footballers have urged their friends in the UAE and around the globe to stay safe and continue helping each other through the current crisis.
Benzema, who has 81 caps for France and has made more than 330 appearances for Real Madrid since moving to the Spanish giants from Lyon in 2009, sent his message of support via DSC’s social media channels.
“Assalaam Alaikum. It’s Karim Benzema,” the 32-year-old said in a video message.
“I have a message to all my friends in the UAE and to all the Muslims around the world during this month of Ramadan. This period has been difficult for everyone due to the Coronavirus. So we need to continue to help each other during this crisis. Stay safe and take care of you and your loved ones. May God bless everyone. Love,” he added.
Moroccan Hakimi, who was to turn up for Dortmund against Schalke later on Saturday as the Bundesliga resumed, has also urged his friends around the globe to stick together in this global fight, while respect precautionary measures imposed by authorities.
Currently on loan from Real Madrid, Hakimi has also reached out to his fans through the DSC. “Hello, Achraf Hakimi here,” said the 21-year-old in a video.
“Greetings to all my friends in Dubai, the UAE and around the world on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan,” he added.
Hakimi was in the limelight since making a loan switch to the Germans in 2018. Midway through the competition, the 21-year-old set a new speed record in the Bundesliga — the third time a new best-mark had been set — when he clocked a top speed of 36.2kph while featuring in Dortmund’s exciting 3-3 draw at home to RB Leipzig.
“We are in midst of a global pandemic and we need to take care of us and our families, as well as keep helping anyone we can. I send you all my love and best wishes in these challenging times, and pray that you stay strong, healthy and fit. I am also at home and spending a lot of my time on my PlayStation,” he remarked.
“So my message to all my friends out there is to understand the situation and keep exercising at home and other places permitted by the authorities, in accordance with the approved safety measures. Thank you,” he added.
The DSC’s ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ campaign has received widespread support with top football stars such as Barcelona’s Croatian ace Ivan Rakitic, Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, former Spanish international Michel Salgado, rising Portuguese star Joao Felix backing it alongside football greats like Luis Figo of Portugal, Brazil’s Roberto Carlos, Carles Puyol of Spain, Italy’s Gennaro Gattuso and Frenchman Nicolas Anelka, among others.